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Subject: Re: Mirella Freni as Aida - was Tosca
From: Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Maxwell Paley <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 19 Jun 2017 16:35:04 -0700
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I'm likely a minority but my ears and understanding of singing tell me that Freni didn't harm herself by singing Elisabetta or Aida. I think she made technical choices that made sounds I didn't love in those roles - very forward and persistently bright producing a degree of steeliness in the sound - but not damaging to the instrument.

Proof of that to me was seeing her in London as Mimi in June of 1980, a couple years into Elisabetta and set of Aidas behind her. Her Mimi was velvety, luminous as opulent in the climaxes; very little changed over her performances a decade earlier, just bigger and fuller. A few weeks later I saw her as Aida in Salzburg under Karajan and it was the (to me) unpleasantly harsh, metallic sound. 

Yet a few years later, I thought she sounded wonderful as Manon Lescaut and Tatyana. Signs of further maturity but not of decline.

At least that's how it sounded to me.

Max Paley 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Jun 19, 2017, at 13:16, Ulrik <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>> On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 17:57:20 -0400, R PRADA <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Anyhoo, Freni sang Aida after Herbert von K made her an offer she could not refuse. Big 
> mistake and the decision was made between a rock and a hard place. She had to take it 
> easy after that.
> 
> Dear Roberta,
> 
> In what way was it a big mistake for Ms Freni to sing Aida with Mr von Karajan, even if her 
> voice was not a typical "Aida" voice? She still had a very long career with beautiful singing 
> right to the end. She sang Aida again, at least in Houston with Domingo and Ghiurov some 
> years later, she had great successes in another punishing Verdi part (Elisabetta) - and also 
> did Elvira in Ernani (which was probably less of a success but not bad in my view, given her 
> voice type). She sang other heavy roles later on, such as Fedora and Manon Lescaut - and 
> Lisa etc.
> 
> So I really wonder what you mean by "big mistake" - and also by "she had to take it easy 
> after that".
> 
> Kind regards
> 
> Ulrik
> 
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